Connecticut may be compact, but it is home to a remarkable variety of lodging properties: country inns, swanky city hotels, waterfront resorts, glammed up roadside motels—even historic mansions turned boutique hotels. If you want to ensure a memorable getaway, you won't go wrong with any of these 10 best hotels in Connecticut.
If a spa experience is important to you, the ultimate hotel in Connecticut—with one of the best resort spas in New England—is this exclusive, 58-acre country house retreat in Washington: the town that inspired "Gilmore Girls." Newly added to the Auberge Resorts Collection, the iconic, luxury property has just 30 guest rooms, and its sanctuary-like spa and wellness programs attract those seeking renewal. A dozen massage modalities are just the start: Spa experiences include such unique offerings as sound healing, detoxification rituals, and forest bathing. The surrounding Litchfield Hills region offers exhilarating scenic driving, kayaking, hiking, biking, shopping, and tasting adventures. Not staying overnight? You can still ascend the long driveway for a drink in the Tap Room or a splendid dinner on the porch overlooking the Shakespeare Garden.
Even if you only drop by for a spell to admire impressive yachts while enjoying drinks and the local-seafood-heavy menu at Fresh Salt or feasting on one of Connecticut's best brunches, Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa should be on your radar. The finest of Connecticut's waterfront resorts is also the greenest hotel in the state with such innovative features as a year-round outdoor pool warmed via a system that recaptures waste heat. Beaches, historic sites, walking trails, antique shops, and shows at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center await here in Old Saybrook: the actress's former home. And a mini-golf course that's one of the best in the state is just outside the hotel's door and right on Long Island Sound. For an actual one-of-a-kind stay, book the romantic Lighthouse Suite out on the main dock, surrounded by water views.
The beds, by Swedish company Duxiana, are dreamy. The amenities are high-tech. And overnights at this meticulously restored Victorian sea captain's home are indeed an event. Spicer Mansion sits on a hilltop a short walk from touristy downtown Mystic and a short drive from all of Mystic, Connecticut's beloved attractions like Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. After a day of seeing the sights, you'll love returning here for the sort of jackets-preferred exceptional dining experience that is practically extinct.
If you want to combine a getaway with one of the best culinary experiences in Connecticut, book a Friday or Saturday night stay at this classic, yet casual country inn. The 1806 landmark on the town green in quaint Salisbury, Connecticut, was given new life in 2014 when a group of investors with ties to this area purchased it. Notable among them is British chef Annie Wayte, who works creative magic with the region's local bounty on Friday and Saturday eves in the dining room. Wayte's team turns out original fare daily, too, in the throwback taproom and Provisions: the inn's sunshiny cafe. There are 16 spacious and elegant guest rooms here, and adventures galore to pursue nearby, from driving experiences and race days at Lime Rock Park to fishing in Lake Wononscopomuc.
If New Haven is your Connecticut destination, this boutique hotel, located a half-mile walk or drive from Yale University, is your best bet. It's known to be the choice of visiting Yale Rep actors and university luminaries, so you never know who you might meet in the library-like lobby or at the bar. Three meals plus Saturday and Sunday brunch are served at Heirloom, the hotel's 100-seat restaurant and lounge, which showcases local, seasonal, and heritage ingredients and provides in-room dining, as well. Yale's free museums are just the start of the attractions you should see while you're in this historic city known for inventions like the hamburger and the Frisbee.
Connecticut's best historic hotel is the venerable Griswold Inn in the Connecticut River town of Essex. A destination since 1776, it's the oldest continuously operating lodging and dining establishment in America. Choose from 33 distinct rooms that have both antique character and modern updates. Just outside the doors, you'll find boutique shops and galleries and the Connecticut River Museum: a departure point for eagle boat cruises in the winter months. But even if you were snowed in, you would be perfectly entertained. The Gris has live music in the maritime-art-filled Tap Room every single night of the year, plus an on-site dining room and wine bar to keep you drunk and well-fed. And Sunday Hunt Breakfast, a tradition that originated with the British occupation of the inn during the War of 1812, is a feast not to be missed.
Everything retro is cool, and that includes this recently reimagined Merritt Parkway motel. When you want to stay in Fairfield but don't want to pay Gold Coast prices, consider this groovy, 40-room property built in 1960 and transformed into a boutique-style hideaway. You can't miss the 6-foot-tall, red-neon "HOTEL HI-HO" sign, and you won't want to miss dining at the on-site Barcelona tapas bar. Breakfast is complimentary when you book direct online. Plenty of attractions await within a 15-minute drive, including Jennings Beach, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, and New England's coolest bowling alley.
A striking and sumptuous waterfront hotel and spa in New England's southernmost town, Greenwich, this Delamar—one of three in Connecticut—is steps from the train station and close enough to Manhattan to be an alternative to staying in New York City (and paying city prices). Styled to feel more like a New England manor home than a high-rise urban hotel, the Delamar Greenwich Harbor pampers pets, too, with treats, fancy water, and cuddly beds on designated dog-friendly floors. Art from the owner's private collection makes public spaces feel intimate. On-site L'escale Restaurant provides extraordinary room service. You're steps away from the 600 fine retailers and restaurants that line Greenwich Avenue, the famous shopping street often dubbed the Rodeo Drive of the East. The hotel's private pier can accommodate sailing yachts and motorboats up to 160 feet. Don't own a yacht? Ask the concierge to help you charter a boat for a beautiful day on the water.
There aren't many Connecticut hotels right on the beach, so this Curio Collection by Hilton property is a rare gem, indeed. Rebuilt from the ground up to replace its historic predecessor, the property has the yesteryear charm of a grand seaside hotel, yet it lacks nothing modern travelers expect. Pamper yourself with a spa service, order a drink delivered to your beach chair, admire the ocean views from a table at The Wharf Restaurant. Pets get first-class treatment here, too, in designated dog-friendly rooms with cuddly beds, bowls, take-home toys, locally-made treats, and guides to dog-walking routes in the area (note: dogs are not allowed on the beach Memorial Day through October). Madison is known for its walkable, old-school downtown and Connecticut's biggest beach (if you need more beach).
This architecturally distinctive hotel—a Queen Anne-style, red-brick and terracotta building walking distance from Union Station—has been a capital city landmark since 1881. The "grand dame" of Hartford had a dark chapter, though, when it closed its doors in 2008. Nine years later, The Goodwin awoke from its slumber with a contemporary makeover. Yet, there are enough preserved details to ensure the property still has more character than any other Hartford hotel. Whether it's a business meeting or sightseeing that brought you to the city, you'll love waking up here to fresh-baked gourmet donuts and coffee drinks in the multifaceted Porròn and Piña restaurant. Owned by Top Chef contender Tyler Anderson, it's a breakfast spot that morphs into a bar on one side, a Spain-inspired restaurant on the other.